Nonprofit Emergencies are Hard
Nonprofits tend to cruise along OK…until you hit a speed bump. If you’re here, there’s something big that needs to be handled, RIGHT NOW. Don’t Panic. You’re in the right place.
Call us at 612.200.3679. Say you’re a new client and my team will get you on the phone with our new client specialist ASAP.
How we approach conflicts and crisis:
I spent several years in-house at a large nonprofit and I’m a trained mediator. When I work with my team on a client emergency, our goals are:
✓ Minimize your lost time and money
✓ Help clients make clear decisions
✓ Reduce harm to the nonprofit
✓ Preserve your working relationships
It’s a small world. The people in a conflict today may be potential funders or donors tomorrow. I can help you keep a clear head through difficult times, navigate situations with integrity and plan the way forward.
Things we can help with:
● Board and staff conflicts or removal
● Voting member disputes
● Financial fraud or theft
● Disagreements with key partners or outside groups
● PR nightmares
What clients say about working with us?
“This is the most thorough, but easy to understand email I’ve EVER read from a lawyer. THANK YOU!!!” – Mandi, voting member at an educational organization
“They were able to expedite my meeting and even get some quick advice the same day! The attempt to accommodate was refreshing and her advice was very intuitive to the situation and helped immensely!” – Bruce, Board member facing a time sensitive issue at a small nonprofit
“Jess knows [our staff] aren’t administrators. She’s patient. She works with them and helps them understand. At the end of the day it’s not just about getting the job done, it’s about helping them understand why we need to be where we’re at.” – Ron, Public Finance Director at a national nonprofit
Jess was great! She really put our board at ease. We look forward to working with her.
Jess is awesome to work with! Worth every penny and our organization is excited to work with her for the long haul!
We started using Birken Law after getting the Mission Guardian subscription service for our small nonprofit. It’s been invaluable. We have worked with Jess on many issues, large and small. She has helped with board governance, conflict of interest, contracts, hiring, and most recently she helped our board draft a resolution. I can’t imagine working in a nonprofit without such a service. It’s invaluable to have readily accessible legal advice. Mostly we use the mini-consult sessions, but we’ve also used the flat fee service. Both types are easy to schedule online. We like that you can opt to submit a written mini-consult question and get a written response, but we’ve also arranged telephone mini-consults. Mini-consult sessions are great for clarifying and/or resolving small issues before they become complicated. We’ve also used their online resources; you can read or download articles on a variety of useful nonprofit topics. Birken Law is outstanding. Jess understand nonprofits and the legal issues they face—she’s thoughtful, wise, and fun to work with too!
I worked with Jess in the capacity of Board Chair for a neighborhood organization, which has access to her services for paperwork and contracts. Jess went above and beyond, ensuring we had paperwork and documentation necessary to support resolution of two major crises, as well as plan for future org changes. Our organization is stronger and more stable because of her astute contractual acumen. Not only that, Jess continually eased our stress through her positive, attentive and kind demeanor. She was a pleasure to work with! I would highly recommend her to anyone seeking clarity in contractual obligations and sustainable document planning for the future.
We are a start-up nonprofit, with years of experience in the for-profit world but knew we'd need a different approach to successfully navigate nonprofit requirements. Birken Law was great, Jess provided useful and reasonable help as we completed the incorporation process and then successfully applied for 501c3 status. Their help as we were drafting our mission, articles and by-laws ensured we properly communicated our charitable purpose. I appreciated Jess's transparent process and found their office to be responsive and customer-service focused. I'd recommend Birken Law to any nonprofit looking for a good legal partner.
Workflow of a Nonprofit Emergency
1. Assessment & Diagnoses Phase. Book an ER Session. We’ll work with you to try to stabilize, create a plan of action or (if possible) resolve the situation in under 2 hours. Time is usually critical to the process.
2. Action Phase. We help you develop a plan in the ER Session. Often clients elect to have us help with the plan, helping you manage the situation and connect you with resources you need while things are still in “triage” mode. We strive to be highly responsive in this phase.
3. Retrospective Phase. After the smoke clears, things feel less urgent. Now let’s look at what we can do to protect you going forward. We typically work with clients to implement changes that will prevent future costly issues and keep mission delivery front and center.